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You can never have too much data. Businesses now use troves of numbers and analytics to drive better workplace safety decisions. Front and center in this transition from intangible to tangible insights is Environmental, Health and Safety software, which has become a vehicle for the transformation of employee safety.
There’s a shift happening for safety managers. They now increasingly try to predict rather than react to injuries, according to a study by i4cp. The report revealed roughly 70 percent of executive teams use data analytic platforms in a human capital capacity—such as improving quality of life on the job for their employees.
Simply put, it costs more to react to an event rather than actively seeking to prevent it. The Occupational Health and Safety Association estimated U.S. businesses spend upwards of $170 billion per year on workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as the associated costs. These are expenses like workers’ compensation, litigation fees, lost productivity and onboarding for new employees to fill injured workers’ shoes. This doesn’t even take into account the cost of record-keeping and attending to these injuries on-site.
In this regard, better EHS performance stems from safety managers paying closer attention to workplace injuries’ origins. It’s not always clean-cut how these accidents take place, though. While at the surface a slip and fall from a ladder may seem like a thoughtless mistake or a one-off event, it could signal a failure in policy and procedures, or even a faulty product in use.
Identifying potential pitfalls has ultimately led to better worksite performance as a result, according to LNS Research. The source reported manufacturers that have EHS visibility through metrics and common analytics ultimately generate a 21 percent improvement in overall equipment effectiveness over those who don’t. This figure represents a sizable portion of lost profit.
It’s clear understanding why injuries occur in the first place will likely yield better EHS performance for a company, but how do you predict the future?
Organizations aiming to improve workplace safety simply can’t do so without taking a proactive approach to it, which requires the implementation of a system to record and track injury reports. After a recent ruling from OSHA, digital reporting will become a requirement for many companies. EHS software simply provides a platform for these companies to utilize that data rather than just submit it to the governing body.
“EHS software takes guessing out of the equation.”
EHS software provides an all-encompassing look into why injuries occur, what the originating factors are and connects the dots that were previously invisible to the naked eye. This latter part is important, as collecting data isn’t the primary concern. According to a KPMG study, 85 percent of chief financial and chief information officers don’t know what to do with the aggregated numbers. EHS software takes guessing out of the equation.
OSHA estimated companies that incorporate some type of EHS system into their workplace safety procedures can ultimately shave up to 40 percent off of their workers’ injury and illness costs. While that’s an encouraging financial value, it doesn’t speak to the whole picture. The very definition of superior EHS performance is a safer work environment, which ultimately leads to improved productivity and better employee engagement levels.
Data-informed decision-making allows companies to identify potential dangers in a workspace before they happen rather than take the wait-and-see approach. This allows safety managers to develop new and innovative strategies for onboarding employees, informing them of common dangers associated with different worksites and helping workers keep up to speed with ever-changing compliance rules within any given industry. By incorporating EHS software, organizations gain the all-seeing eye they’ve been looking for when it comes to keeping employees safe.